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Lutheran pastor dresses in drag to lead worship service with children

Aaron Musser, who was ordained this summer, donned a blonde wig, white dress, and makeup to share in worship with the children in his parish.

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Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
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A Lutheran pastor in Chicago offered drag prayer time for children. Aaron Musser, who was ordained this summer, donned a blonde wig, white dress, and makeup to share in worship with the children in his parish.

"I have an awesome story to share with you today," Musser told the children, flipping his long blonde hair off his shoulders. He asked the children if they'd ever seen a drag queen before, and they had not. He offered surprise at this fact. "I am also a boy most of the time when I'm here," he told them, "but today," he said, flipping his hair back and forth, "I'm a girl." After reading, he led a prayer.

St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square publicized the event with pride, sharing photos to their Facebook page.

Aaron Musser in drag sharing worship with children at St. Luke's Lutheran Church. The children are masked, while Musser is not.

An announcement appeared on the Facebook page for St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square on Dec. 12, saying that the next day "Seminarian Aaron" would be "preaching in drag!" As such, the church invited everyone "to wear garments/accessories that make you feel 100%, like the best version of yourself."

Musser wrote of the event: "The sixth Sunday of advent is rejoice Sunday. It's a chance for us to rehearse what a life of joy could look like. It's a dress rehearsal. Preaching in drag is a theological reflection on joy: Joy overflows so abundantly, it can't help but make itself known. Weaving together the day's theme," he wrote, "queer theory, and lectionary texts, we will 'dress rehearse' for joy."

Musser has been outspoken about incorporating "Queerness" into his ministry, writing on his personal Facebook page that one of his goals is "to testify that Queerness is beautiful and a right."

He writes that "Queer sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions," such as the one he exhibited to children on Dec. 13, "outpoor from the depths of our being. We are who we are. And we can articulate our truth."

"Queerness is sacred," he writes, going on to say that "certain straights don't believe that we speak truth." He speaks against Republicans, saying that "If you vote red, you vote against me and my rights."

But he notably writes that he is "more outraged by the rapid increase in murders of Black Trans women," saying that "Their precious blood stains white fascist hands; right-wing attitudes on Queerness and Blackness nourish fascists' hate."

He names several biological males who identified as transgender at the time of their deaths, including Felycya Harris, Isabella Mia Lofton, Tiffany Harris, Queasha Hardy, Bree Black, Draya McCarty, and Shakie Peters, implying that they were murdered as a result of white supremacy.

Felcycya Harris was killed by Jerrome Tyvone Miller, who reportedly told friends that he killed Harris because he "was afraid that people would think he was gay," and another woman had said that she would tell people about the relationship.

Lofton's death was ruled an accident after an autopsy showed that she was "intoxicated and accidentally fell to her death from a rooftop to a lower roof landing attached to the building." The autopsy showed that Lofton had ingested cocaine, as well.

Tiffany Harris was also allegedly killed by an intimate partner, though it is not clear what led to the murder. Alpha Diallo was charged with murder, manslaughter, and criminal possession of a weapon in connection to Harris' death.

Queasha Hardy's shooting death has not been solved, nor Bree Black's, though a $10,000 reward for information was offered by police in Black's case. Two suspects were each indicted for one count of second-degree murder in Shakie Peters' death, four months after the transgender woman's body was found in early July.

Musser also offers "Queer Scripture Reflections," reimagining the friendship of David and Jonathan as a gay romance.

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